Author Bruce Machart, the Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities visiting writer, will give a free public reading from his just-released novel, The Wake of Forgiveness, on Thursday, Nov. 4. The reading will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Room 126, John R. Roach Center for the Liberal Arts.
Machart teaches English at Lone Star College in Houston. His work has been published in leading literary magazines Story, Glimmer Train and Zoetrope. A forthcoming collection of short stories, titled Men in the Making, is due out in 2011.
The Wake of Forgiveness tells the story of Karel Skala, born in 1895 in Lavaca County, Texas.
His mother died giving birth to him. His father never forgave him and he never forgot that or her. He grows up feuding with his three older brothers. A naturally talented rider, when he’s a teenager, he’s given the chance to ride his family’s fastest horse in a high stakes race in which his family’s fortunes hang in the balance. (Learn more from a National Public Radio interview.)
“This is pure literature,” says Susan Salter Reynolds in a Los Angeles Times story published Oct. 24, “an emphasis on language over plot; risky, complex and often unlikable characters and that echo, that ripple that flows forward into the future and backward into myth.” Reynolds compares Machart to Willa Cather, William Faulkner or Cormac McCarthy. “How else could you possibly know what the wind in the pecan trees sounds like, what mesquite smells like or how fast-moving clouds can make a person feel particularly small and helpless?”
A native Texan, Machart was born and raised in the Houston area. After high school he worked his way through eight years of undergraduate study before leaving for the Midwest and graduate work in Columbus, Ohio. He later spent three years in the Boston area, where he taught literature and writing at Berklee College of Music, Boston University, and Grub Street Writers. In 2003, he returned to Houston.